Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Seattle Beer Week Double IPAs — Hale's vs. Pike

Hale's Seattle Beer Week
2010 Double IPA

ABV 8.3% IBU 100

Hazy, honey/orange.
Floral and citrus hops with a slight scent of yeasty dough.
Almost savory bitterness, like bitter greens that evolves into citrus hop bitterness.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced):
Really hoppy.
Grapefruit and pepper hop bitterness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):
Good +

Pike Double IPA
(First brewed for inaugural Seattle Beer Week 2009)
ABV 8% IBU 80

Clear amber.
Malts and toasted nuts.
Sharp piney hops with a touch of stinky cheese funk.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced): Hoppy.
Burnt toast bitter hops.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):

Winner by unanimous decision
: Hale's. Tomorrow is the first day of Seattle Beer Week! In celebration and anticipation of this event we decided to pit this year's SBW Double IPA (Hale's) against the one brewed for last year's inaugural SBW (Pike). Both are good beers, however, the Pike came up a bit short when compared directly against the Hale's. Both are intensely hoppy beers that will appeal to any and all hopheads, but they both emphasize a different style of hop. The Pike has more of a focus on citrusy hops, while the Hale's leans toward the piney, sappy hop character. What set the Hale's apart for us was the generous dose of malty sweetness that did an admirable job of tempering the hoppiness for awhile before finally giving in to a mellow burnt toast bitterness. The Pike, on the other hand, didn't have the same malt profile and ended up being dominated by intense citrus hops through and through.

Food pairing thoughts: Despite the fact that the Hale's was the victor, it may not be the best with food. Its massive hop flavors are very dominant and would overwhelm most foods. The Pike, on the other hand is a softer, rounder beverage that might be able to marry well with spicy or acidic foods that could use a bit of hops to counter the intense flavors.

No comments:

Post a Comment